Unlocking the potential of Mali’s youth

08 Jul 2015 by Jean-Luc Stalon, Deputy Country Director of UNDP in Mali

Youth in Mali. Credit: Harandane Dicko / UNDP in Mali
With its youthful population and track record of civil crises, Mali is the perfect case study on the relationship between youth and stability. Mali’s fertility rate is second only to Niger’s. Yet in a country that doesn’t provide jobs, opportunities for decision-making and a sense of purpose, this youth bulge is more likely to be a powerful demographic time bomb rather than a driver of economic growth. … Read more

How agro-commodity traders can help the SDGs and reduce poverty

29 May 2015 by Andrew Bovarnick, Global Head of the Green Commodities Programme, Sustainable Development Cluster, UNDP

cocoa podsGhana’s cocoa is produced by thousands of smallholder farmers, spread over six of the country’s 10 regions. Photo: COCOBOD
With the global population predicted to reach nine billion by 2050, we face a dual challenge: ensuring the continued production of agricultural commodities, such as soy, palm oil, cattle, coffee and cocoa, without destroying the planet’s natural resources that humanity depends on to survive. Agricultural commodities are the bedrock of many rural developing economies, contributing to vital economic growth and the ongoing fight against poverty. As such, they play a critical role in contributing to the Sustainable Development Goals. … Read more

"Impact investing" benefits business, people and planet

28 May 2015 by Priscilla Sani-Chimwele, Programme Analyst, Private Sector Development and Engagement

Big players are already engaging heavily in various impact investment ventures in various parts of the globe. Photo: Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation
Some say that the most critical aspect of a successful business is the customer. I would agree: A business that contributes to the wellbeing and affluence of its customers by giving back ensures that in the long run they are able to afford and continue to consume the goods and services that the business provides. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues. … Read more

Financing for development in resource-rich countries

01 May 2015 by Degol Hailu, Senior Advisor for Sustainable Development

Photo: UNDP in Zimbabwe
Decline in commodity prices is threatening the availability of funds for development. A promising option for resource-rich countries is to capture a bigger share of the profits generated from the exploitation of their natural resources. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues … Read more

Africa and Climate Finance – The state of the debate

23 Apr 2015 by Alice Ruhweza, Regional Team Leader for the Global Environment Finance Unit in Africa

Climate change threatens the lives and livelihoods of hundreds of millions of people in Africa. Photo: Benjamin Larroquette/ UNDp in Zambia
Climate finance to Africa has been growing considerably. However, only 45% of approved funding is delivered for adaptation measures. In this blog series, our experts share their thoughts on key financing for development issues … Read more

What contributes to a successful election?

13 Apr 2015 by Ozonnia Ojielo, UNDP regional cluster leader, Governance and Peacebuilding

Voters checking their names on registered voters list in Lagos Nigeria.Africa's most populous nation and biggest economy, Nigeria has surprised the world by conducting largely peaceful elections. Photo: UNDP Nigeria
On 28 March 2015, Nigeria, Africa's most populous nation and biggest economy, surprised the world by organising largely ‘peaceful’ presidential and national assembly elections. Here are some take away lessons … Read more

Why Sendai is important for Africa

17 Mar 2015 by Aliou Dia, Team Leader, Disaster Risk Reduction and Climate Change, Africa

 UNDP IS HELPING RWANDA BOOST RESILIENCE TO DISASTERS AND THE EFFECTS OF CLIMATE CHANGE. PHOTO: UNDP RWANDA
This week the world will gather in Sendai, Japan, to mark the end of the Hyogo Framework for Action (HFA) and the beginning of a new global framework on disaster risk reduction (DRR). Sendai is a golden opportunity for Africa to engage meaningfully in the debate and be heard in the light of its current economic transformation. Africa has seven of the top ten fastest growing economies— that growth, if not well managed, will likely contribute to new risks, including the potentially negative fallout from rapid urbanization and industrialization, the intensive use of natural resources and the degradation of ecosystems. One of the biggest achievements of the HFA in Africa has been raising awareness on disaster risk. It has been a tremendous vehicle for engaging African governments, sub-regional and regional institutions on DRR, and an important addition to Africa’s development agenda. The HFA has helped many African nations adopt legislation and shape institutional arrangements that include DRR. Yet, while considerable progress has been made over the last decade, the continent is still facing many challenges. The Horn of Africa and the Sahel region are continuously under threat of drought. Floods annually affect many cities and rural areas, with huge socio-economic impacts … Read more

Inside UNDP: Jennifer Topping

27 Feb 2015 by Jennifer Topping, UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Mozambique

UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Mozambique Jennifer Topping with kids in Zambezia Camp. Photo: UNICEF in Mozambique
1. Who are you? My name is Jennifer Topping.   I was born and raised in Vancouver, Canada.  My father died when I was young and my mother raised our family of 5 children on her own – with unrelenting grace, humour, resilience and commitment to our education.  I know that’s where my strength as a woman and as a leader comes from. 2. What do you do for work? I am the UN Resident Coordinator and UNDP Representative in Mozambique. I have the daily privilege and challenge of leading a coordinated effort of 22 UN Agencies delivering a $700 million multi-year programme in one of the poorest and most rapidly developing countries in the world. 3. How long have you worked for UNDP? How did you end up working for UNDP? Where were you before? I joined UNDP in 1988 as a Junior Professional Officer funded by Canada.   I was completing my graduate studies when I learned of the JPO programme, supported by the government of Canada for young Canadians to get experience in international development and the UN.  Within a year of applying, I found myself in the People’s Democratic Republic of Yemen as a P1 programme officer, with a … Read more

Inside UNDP: Lionel Laurens

19 Jan 2015 by Lionel Laurens, Ebola Virus Disease Immediate Response Coordinator, UNDP, Sierra Leone

 Lionel in Freetown.
Lionel Laurens, from France, is a development practitioner who has worked for UNDP for 10 years. He’s driven by a desire to contribute to a more equal world by working with people to be in control of their own development in their own environment. … Read more

Adaptation and attitude are two keys to crisis response

13 Jan 2015 by Lionel Laurens, Ebola Virus Disease Immediate Response Coordinator, Sierra Leone

 Sierra Leone has begun to use new, environmentally-friendly sterilizing equipment to help dispose of the vast amounts of contaminated protective equipment and infectious waste generated in treating Ebola patients. (Photo: Lesley Wright/UNDP)
I came to Sierra Leone in July 2014 on a temporary assignment as Area Based Development (ABD) Advisor, but when I arrived the Ebola outbreak had reached an unprecedented scale and the delivery of UNDP’s regular programmes was low priority.  UNDP, as a development agency, was not seen as particularly relevant or equipped to deal with a humanitarian crisis.  But UNDP had programmable resources, a strong network of relationships with government and other stakeholders, and a strong desire amongst the staff to help their communities confront Ebola.   A lot of my work at UNDP has been developing and implementing programmes in creative ways and having that experience helped during the Ebola crisis.  I helped the Country Office to reprioritize our activities in innovative ways to respond to the crisis. We reached out to our partners and marginalized groups to identify useful interventions that were in dire need. We then reprogrammed UNDP’s work to build on our existing programmes and relationships to address key issues for those not yet reached by existing prevention activities. As a result of this we have been able to: Work in partnership with local partner NGOs and government to train 300 volunteers and communities on Ebola … Read more